Thursday’s Thoughts: Who’s In Your Backyard

Notary in their own backyard

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine’s aunt reach out to me and asked to me notarized a deed trust package for her church — her church owns a school and are selling it — and of course, I said yes.  Then I asked her for the address as she wanted me to meet them at the church, since that’s where they had the paperwork waiting at.  So I Googled the address as I recalled only visiting the church once with my friend who was hosting a model call (at the time my friend operated a digital fashion/lifestyle magazine) back then.  When I looked at the area to familiarize myself with it, I noticed someone’s Notary business indicated on the map.   With a website.  So I did what any curious competitor would do.  Clicked on it and read on all their sh*t.  I felt I needed to.  I wanted to see how I stacked up against someone already in the biz doing it longer.

For starters, I was surprise to see that the notary charged $25 for the first 8 miles from their location.  DAMN!  I don’t know, I think that’s a lot of money to charge for going 8 miles in LA.  But I read on.  Similar to my “Discount Notary Days“, he had a list of Starbucks locations he would travel to provide notary services.  And if you wanted to meet him there on the weekend, he’d knock off $5 of the travel fee.  Dude, for real?  Yes.  He was seriously charging people to meet him at Starbucks.  $20!  You could at least get for over-priced coffees for that.  Just sayin’.  But I loved learning how he priced everything and made it very transparent for the customer.

So I arrived at the church, spent about 30 minutes notarizing the package.  It turns out that my friend’s aunt was the church’s secretary, so she was present there to sign off on whatever needed to be signed on behalf of the church along with another member.  After I was paid and we packed up, she walked me out and we briefly talked and I promise to touch base more frequently.  Well, as soon as I turned the corner, I saw this notary business sign on someone’s lawn across the street from the church.  And no, it wasn’t the $25 travel fee dude.  It was another person.  Two notaries within their distance and I get the job.  Loved it!  But of course, it was networked.  My mother always keeps telling me, it’s not what I know, but who I know and who knows me.

Then it dawned on me.  How many notaries must there be on my block, in my neighborhood?  How much business am I potentially losing out on because someone else is there and I don’t even know it?  Well, technically, I Googled it and no one came up.  No one or no business in a 5 block radius, at least.  But who may quietly be there?  Hmm?  What competitor is in my own backyard that I may not know about?  So it got me thinking about how creative I need to be to put myself out there, to get people’s attention and to earn their business.  I don’t know what that is yet, but I’ll figure it out.  After all, you never who may be in your own backyard doing what you’re doing too!

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